He’s a Sack of Something

Gosh, I wonder who Darth Vader will turn out to be.
I like how worked up he’s getting, like Flash is taking credit for his work (assuming it’s Phil Holt, but come on), but he literally just talked about how great he was to work with. Which, considering he’s making an ass of himself because Flash can’t remember the street a coffee shop was on decades ago, it’s kind of hard to believe he really was great to work with.
That mask makes me wonder something. Darth Vader is copyrighted. So is the Flash, but that didn’t stop Batiuk from just tracing Flash scenes to use in the Flash museum “arc”. How does he not get in legal trouble for things like that? I know fair use is a thing, but copying someone else’s work in a comic strip that you do for profit without any kind of acknowledgement doesn’t seem to qualify. I guess maybe it’s just that nobody notices or cares?

52 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

52 responses to “He’s a Sack of Something

  1. Mela

    I’m guessing Phil Holt’s son (although daughter would be so much more unexpected), perhaps under the impression and harboring resentment that Flash got more attention/fame/$/honor than dear old dad?

  2. I’ve never been to a con, but I find it hard to believe that this “Mystery Person” *cough* would not have been a) cautioned to keep it down after his first outburst, and b) removed by security after his second.

    –oh wait, I forgot this is Tom Batiuk’s fantasy world, where everything happens as it was always supposed to happen in his mind. This isn’t a quarter inch removed from reality; this is completely removed from reality.

    • unca scrooge

      And how about smoking a stogie inside a building? That could not happen in California.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        It is more likely that they would allow a heckler to remain in a panel then they would allow a smoker in the building.

        Darth Shortstack should have been tackled by seven security guards by now.

  3. William Thompson

    The Dark Lord of the Snit is so boring, the rest of the audience doesn’t notice him. Jeeze, Batiuk, calling out an old man because he misremembered a coffee shop’s location is pathetic. It’s like blaming a reader for not being able to tell the difference between Marianne Winters, Summer Moore and that other woman with the boyish haircut and figure.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      “…that mother woman with the boyish haircut and figure.” Wally?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And Funky Winkerbean‘s complete aversion to conflict is on display again. Tom Batiuk conceived a character who is so deeply bitter about Flash Freeman that he arranged a pass to Comic-Con, traveled a great distance to attend, and wore a helmet to hide his identity. And this is the best thing he can think of for him to say. Pathetic.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        In better hands, the petty complaint could have been part of the point. It shows how deep the disdain goes, that he can find fault with literally anything his ‘nemesis’ does.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Wait a minute. I thought “Mister Sponge” was Pete’s thing. So Pete’s version was just a reboot? He just keeps lofting these weird Batom Comics airballs up and none of them ever land, they just kind of disappear into the ether.

    And “big sack of baloney”??? That’s cornier than a big bag of Fritos. I’m just baffled here.

    • billytheskink

      Pete’s Mr. Sponge was supposed to be a continuation of an original Batom title created by Flash and Phil, I believe, which is why so many folks were mad when Pete wrote that Mr. Sponge was actually a clone created by arch-nemesis Dr. Centipede from the very beginning of the comic’s run.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Well, there is a sentence that would make absolutely no sense to the other 99.99% of English speaking humans.

        • billytheskink

          The best-worst part of that whole story arc was these two strips that ran back-to-back, where Pete explains his cockamamy Mr. Sponge clone idea and then that idea is repeated back to him verbatim…


          • Banana Jr. 6000

            And of course, every idea that flits into Mopey Pete’s vacuous head is hailed as instant genius. In reality, this development would seriously annoy readers.

            Something similar was discussed in the TV show Futurama. There was a character named Flexo, who was a robot of Bender’s exact type. At the end of his first episode, Flexo is arrested for a theft Bender committed. A few episodes later, Bender’s serial number became a plot point. There was talk of showing Flexo’s serial number, to imply that Bender went to jail long ago and Flexo has been impersonating him for all these episodes. But the scene was cut, because they thought it would anger and confuse fans.

            Mind you, this is a TV show where the main character went back in time and became his own grandfather.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            “That trashes the entire history of the character “. Batty loves to do this to his characters.

          • J.J. O'Malley

            This whole storyline was, I assume, meant to be Battyuk’s take on the infamous 1990s Spider-Man “Clone Saga,” when Marvel was afraid that young readers wouldn’t identify with a thirtysomething Spidey who was married to Mary Jane Waston. Briefly, they introduced a character named Ben Reilly (Scarlet Spider), who was supposed to be a Peter clone from a long-ignored mid-’70s arc, and claimed that he was the real deal and the Parker who got hitched and who fans followed for years was in fact the duplicate. Needless to say, this went over about as well as New Coke, and was eventually retconned away. That didn’t stop Marvel, of course, as they later brought in Miles Morales as Ultimate Spider-Man, along with dozen of Spider spinoffs, and eventually had Pete and MJ break up thanks to a literal “deal with the devil.”

            Oh, I’ve wasted my life…

          • Hitorque

            I remember that… And the best part is Pete got fired right after his series was published, which at the time I presumed because Pete was leaking plot points of future issues to Darrin, and not to mention spending too much office time on Skype bitching and moaning to Darrin that his bosses were all ignorant buttholes (as if his bosses weren’t monitoring his work PC 24/7)…

        • Epicus Doomus

          He could make this stuff a little clearer, but where’s the fun in that? I just lost even more respect for Pete, which shouldn’t be possible, as zero should be the bottom.

  5. Sourbelly

    “You big sack of baloney”? What is Dwarf Vader Head implying? It sounds like he’s saying that Flush is lying about…something. Is he saying that Flush never actually met with Phil Holt? That, um, someone else met with Phil Holt? What? I mean, if Flush can’t remember the exact location of the coffee shop, that doesn’t make him a liar, right? None of this makes a damned bit of sense. I hate this arc so bloody, bloody much.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Ah, more quality text from our Lord of the Language. For Batty, irrelevant details matter most, but ohhhh, ahhhh, he’s naming streets in Cleveland! Wow!

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        For Batty, irrelevant details matter most, and he gets every single one of them wrong.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    I see three possible answers to the identity of Dark Helmet.

    1. It’s Phil Holt’s son.How he’d know details about where Phil and Flash met to create the Amazing Mr. Sponge seems unlikely, but that wouldn’t stop TomBa.

    2. It’s Phil Holt who somehow faked his death (maybe TomBa will explain his appearance with Lisa as some sort of near death out of body experience or it’ll just get retconned or forgotten).

    3. Neither Phil nor Flash created Mr. Sponge. The character was created by the third participant in those meetings – Zanzibar The Murder Chimp.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      If it IS Phil, and he DOESN’T explain using a near-death or out-of-body experience, then it raises some very weird questions on how we’re supposed to interpret scenes with ‘ghosts’

      • Gerard Plourde

        “it raises some very weird questions on how we’re supposed to interpret scenes with ‘ghosts’”

        Agreed, but the sloppy inconsistency is very TomBa. Thanks to the Comic Con Pass shown this week we’re to believe he’s setting both FW and Crankshaft in the present, totally abandoning his self-vaunted second time jump in the process. Accordingly, most of the Crankshaft cast magically ages ten years moving between the two strips with the exception of Lillian.

      • And I wonder how he’ll react when he learns Dullard sold some of his original artwork.

    • William Thompson

      The last time Bathack used that helmet-disguise gimmick, it was for a video-game-playing girl. Maybe we’re supposed to be astonished that there could be an obnoxious, mean-spirited woman in the Funkyverse.

      • Bad wolf

        It’s a classic trick for comic books and strips—probably because the written verbiage doesn’t have a voice. You get the big reveal then have to go back and reread the original “you big sack of baloney!” as having been in a squeaky feminine voice instead of the cigar-smoking growl you first assumed

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          And because this is Darth Vader, my mind wants to substitute James Earl Jones’ voice. Imagine that voice saying “I find your lack of faith disturbing, you big sack of baloney.”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Re: #3: if true, how disappointing! I would have expected Zanzibar to be the monkey who re-created the works of William Shakespeare.

    • gleeb

      If it is Holt, I will be upset if he doesn’t demand the return of his art from Dagwood Fairgood. Anyway, how would the impoverished Holt get to San Diego from Ohio?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        How could Holt travel without any government ID? He’d have to have a false one, because his own would turn up as “deceased.” And eventually it would expire and be un-renewable.

        And the badge systgm at Comic-Con would have to be pretty sloppy not to catch this. Batiuk did try to hand-wave this, with vest-wearing slug man giving him “one of his exhibitor badges.” But people are required to show ID when they enter Comic-Con, and their name must match the name on the badge.

      • Gerard Plourde

        If memory serves, the birthday party arc occurred while Darin, Jessica and Skyler were living in LA during the filming of Starbuck Jones.

      • Here’s how the Dullard-Holt conversation will go.
        H: As part of my death ruse, I sent you some artwork. Can I have it back?

        D: I, uh, sold it.

        H: You sold it?! How dare you!

        D: I auctioned it off for the Lisa’s Legacy Fund.

        H: (pause). …oh. (Another pause). Do you think you could auction off some more for the Fund?

  7. billytheskink

    This strip is far less interesting and far less entertaining than a sack of baloney.

  8. Unfortunately for Phil Holt Jr., he learned everything that he knows about panel etiquette from his mother, the “I GET THE REFERENCE!” lady from Les’ book signing.

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    “My baloney has a first name, it’s T-O-M-M-Y!
    My baloney has a second name, it’s B-A-T-I-UK!
    Oh, I love to rib him every day, and it you ask me why I’ll say,
    Because he’s a terrible comic strip writer with no sense of drama, character development, internal continuity, how to depict verbal puns on the printed page, or basic human behavior, of course!”

  10. be ware of eve hill

    Yesterday I claimed I was rooting for Darth Heckler to give Flash and Ruby the business. In retrospect, yesterday’s heckling was flawed, to say the least. Today Darth Heckler’s efforts have devolved into mere contradiction.

    Today’s strip kind of reminds me of the Monty Python ‘Argument Clinic’ sketch. Micheal Palin enters John Cleese’s office looking for a five minute argument. The argument ends up being a couple of minutes of contradiction (i.e. “Yes it is!” “No it isn’t!). The sketch ends in another office with multiple policemen entering the room, hitting everyone over the head and ending the sketch because it is too confusing and silly.

    I think it’s about time for the police to burst in, hit everyone over the head and end this farce.

    Just throwing my two cents in. Darth Heckler is actually Phil Holt’s force ghost.

    • William Thompson

      And Batiuk grabs your two cents. He doesn’t mind being grossly overpaid for his work.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    It really is amazing that nobody seems to have cease and desisted Tom Batiuk yet. He badly exceeds Fair Use. One of its key principles is “use as little as necessary,” but he drew that Flash #123 cover over and over and over again. And his depictions of real-world franchises aren’t exactly flattering. He’s already depicted Comic-Con’s Hall of Fame as corrupt, its attendees as idiots, and their security as non-existent.

    • gleeb

      And its MCs as fat guys with receding hairlines, but that might not be so much insulting as completely accurate.

  12. Hitorque

    So what was the point of the Vader helmet, if he’s just going to blow his cover with a bunch of bad heckling?? Unless of course he’s banned from ComiCon or something…

  13. Hitorque

    1. Are we supposed to fucking know by default which city Flash is name-dropping streets about?

    2. Um… Yeah. I know enough about coffee to know “coffee shops” were not a thing in America in circa 1955, and especially not in a hardcore blue collar, shot-and-a-beer city like Cleveland. If Flash wants to say they met at a bar or diner, fine…

    3. It’s funny because Flash the fucking hypocrite is talking about how much he misses his former partner and wishes he could be there when on the flight he said the animosity between them was so strong they couldn’t even be in the same room…

    4. I’m calling it now: Phil and Flash (just like their modern avatars Pete and Darren) were secret gay lovers and had a horrible falling out because of it.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I was thinking the same about coffee shops. Cleveland had/ has donut shops. Coffee shops only became a thing in the 90’s here.

      Our neighborhood shop closed a few years ago as the owners were retiring. They were a true old fashioned shop where they made the donuts from scratch daily. There were newspapers scattered around. On Paczki day they hung large Polish flags in the window. Batty would have loved it, but I’m glad he never came because I wouldn’t want him ruining my memories.

      There were lots of Ed Crankshafts as customers and they loved Crankshaft but hated FW.

    • The Duck of Death

      I don’t know about Cleveland, but in NYC, “Coffee Shop” has always meant something like a greasy spoon diner. There are very few traditional free-standing diner-shaped diners in NYC. The places that serve diner food and are built into the city landscape, often occupying ground floors of apartment or office buildings, are called “coffee shops.” Old natives like me still call them that, to the confusion of suburbanites who think we’re referring to Starbucks-style cafes.

  14. Professor Fate

    Thinking about it, I would say it’s the editor or publisher or whatever of Batom comics – he’s the only one that I remember that was ever shown smoking a cigar and since Flash is a spry 90 years old why not a spry 110 year old .
    Not that i care if i’m wrong. We, as readers, are supposed to be shocked and appalled by this unprovoked attack on our beloved Flash and suspense at who this person is, but all one feels is ennui along with wanting the Author to ‘GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY’. Nobody cares, we all know full well that the big reveal and the whole story is going to simply descend into a typical anti climax with the bad guy defeated in some vague unclear fashion with smirks aplenty.
    Just as a counter example over at Bloom County they have been doing a wonderful arc with Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes (i presume Watterson is doing some of the art) where Opus and Hobbes are looking for the now adult Calvin – here we want to see what happens although one is a little afraid of what a grown up Calvin would be. But there the reader is invested, here they simply bored.

  15. gleeb

    I can honestly say I don’t care who Dwarf Vader turns out to be. I just want the story to return to a character I care about like…uh…Bernie Silver, maybe?

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    Just back from vacation so missed several days…let me catch up….

    Wow, this story is moving slowly.

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